Rice is a basic ingredient in our diet: it gives us plenty of energy, fiber, vitamins and minerals. There are a dozen kinds around the world. How are they different? How to choose them well? Cook them? To see more clearly, follow the advice of Anthony Boucher, chef, Laurianne Ferté d’Houard, co-founder of the Rice Trotters restaurants and Véronique Liesse, dietitian-nutritionist.
Which one to choose for a rice that does not stick?
Prefer a rice with long, firm grains, Thai or basmati rice type (semi-complete or full versions generally stick less) or parboiled white rice, steamed very hot to pre-cook it and make it unbondable.
White rice with short and round grains are reserved for certain preparations in which a creamier texture is sought.
Thai rice, basmati rice, flavored rice: what are the differences?
Basmati rice, with the thinnest grain, is normally grown in India in the Punjab region (sometimes also in Pakistan) and Thai rice in Thailand. THEtheir taste is also different : rather hazelnut aromas for basmati (ideal in dishes with sauce) and jasmine for Thai (interesting in exotic dishes or for Cantonese rice).
As for the “flavored” rice, it doesn’t mean much, sometimes it is a mixture of several varieties.
What does whole or semi-whole rice bring?
It is a rice from which the inedible husk has been removed but the second envelope has been kept, the pericarp. It contains more fiber, vitamins and minerals than white rice: 2 to 3 times more vitamin B, zinc and iron, 6 to 8 times more magnesium.
It also a lower glycemic index (GI) than white rice. But brown rice is also firmer, takes longer to cook (up to 40 minutes) and has a more pronounced taste. Semi-brown rice is therefore a good compromise, faster to cook and more digestible for sensitive intestines.
Red rice, black rice, brown rice … what are the differences?
Red, brown or black rice are categories of whole rice, whose colored envelope is due to the presence of anthocyanins (pigments): we therefore have a rice richer in antioxidants.
Black rice from Camargue is the only one with a PGI (protected geographical indication), therefore strict specifications and often superior quality. Purple rice is rather semicomplete.
As for wild rice, it is not strictly speaking rice, but a plant that grows naturally. in the swamps (or swamp zizanie). Its taste has little interest but it brings its color and crunch in rice mixes, and also some nutrients: provitamin A, vitamins B5 and B9, zinc, potassium, magnesium …
Which rice for which preparation?
- Risotto : arborio or carnaroli rice
- Paella : bomba rice
- Sushi, maki : Japanese round rice (it sometimes comes from Camargue) which makes it possible to obtain sticky rice
- Milk rice, rice cakes: risotto rice or baldo rice
What are “quick cooking” rice and pan-fried rice worth?
Quick-cooking rice is not recommended because it is precooked rice with a very high glycemic index.
Pre-cooked and seasoned, to be reheated in the microwave, they may contain additives such as artificial flavors. There is also a risk of glycation and Maillard reaction : rice that caramelizes can release harmful compounds. To spice up the dish, it is better to add tomato coulis, small vegetables, onions, spices …
Should we prefer organic rice, in bulk or in sachets?
Is organic rice better for your health? Absoutely. Especially if it’s a semi-brown, brown or parboiled ricebecause they may contain a larger amount of pesticides.
Heating food in plastic is not recommended because of the risk of migration from the container to the contents. But rice sold in cardboard boxes can also be contaminated with certain inks. The ideal is to buy it in bulk and store it in a glass box.
What is the correct portion of rice to respect?
It depends on your build and your physical activity. Count 50 g of raw rice per person (approximately 120 g when cooked). The rice must represent a quarter of the plate, with a half of vegetables and a quarter of protein. For a mixed salad, count 20/25 g of raw rice per person.
The health tip
Cooling the rice in the fridge to make a rice salad or reheating it the next day is a good idea, as it will be richer in resistant starch and therefore have a lower glycemic index. In addition, resistant starch has a prebiotic action and nourishes our microbiota.
What is the ideal cooking time for rice?
So that it is not too pasty, it should be cooked not too long and with not too much water. So rather by absorption than in Creole (in a large pot of water).
1. Rinse the rice beforehand, until the water runs clear, to remove the starch so that it does not stick (this also helps to reduce the cooking time a little).
2. When cold, put in the saucepan the right amount of cold water for the amount of rice. It depends on the chosen rice, but it is indicated on the package. On average, it takes about one volume of water for one volume of white rice and 2 volumes of water for one volume of brown rice (to be measured with a glass).
3. Increase the heat to the limit of boiling and cook with the lid on until the water is absorbed. The ideal is to invest in a rice cooker, which stops automatically and keeps the rice warm when all the water is absorbed. It is also used to cook other cereals such as quinoa, wheat …